75% of Emerging Human Disease Originates in an Animal Host
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), delivered a special videotaped briefing and update on COVID-19 at the American Veterinarian Medical Association’s (AVMA) first-ever virtual annual convention, August 20-22. Speaking to thousands of veterinarians, Dr. Fauci explained how approximately three quarters of all emerging infectious diseases in human health have their origins in animals. These zoonotic diseases include SARS, H1N1 flu, and, most recently, COVID-19.
Dr. Fauci praised the industry for its ‘One Health’ approach in addressing the challenges posed by these emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases, recognizing that human health is connected to the health of animals and our shared environment.
Please see a portion of Dr. Fauci video’s presentation here: Dr. Anthony Fauci.
One Health is about people working together to protect human, animal, and environmental health — coordinating, communicating, and collaborating to achieve the best health outcomes for people, animals, plants, and our shared environment.
Dr. Douglas Kratt, president of the AVMA, says that a more holistic, global, One Health approach will be required to identify emerging zoonotic diseases that pose a risk to all life on this planet. Because these diseases originate from animals, Dr. Kratt says, “Veterinarians are the most qualified professionals to recognize these diseases and prevent or limit their spread, and must be included in the front-line defense.”
In addition to Dr. Fauci’s briefing, attendees at this year’s AVMA Convention heard from Dr. Tracey McNamara, the former Bronx Zoo veterinarian who, in 1999, was integral in identifying the emergence of West Nile virus in people and animals in New York, the first time the virus had appeared in the Western Hemisphere. Dr. McNamara underscored how veterinarians protect the public from emerging disease threats, and the role veterinarians can—and must—play in preventing the next pandemic.
The AVMA convention provides a platform for its top leadership, members and other speakers to UPDATE US ON COVID-19, DEVELOPMENTS ON THE LATEST NEWS RELATED TO CANNABIS USE IN VETERINARY MEDICINE (at a three-day symposium), and other key topics relating to animal and human health.
Veterinarians are the only doctors educated to protect the health of both animals and people. They are trained to address the health needs of every species of animal and they also play a critical role in environmental protection, food safety, animal welfare and public health.
The innovative gathering also presented best-in-class continuing education (CE) sessions, keynote presentations, exhibitors and networking opportunities.
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